In non-PPR, total touches for RBs are the best correlation for fantasy success. Can we expect Kamara to get elite touch numbers next season, or are we expecting him to produce at a hyper efficient rate again? I don’t think we can justify taking him at an ADP of 1.05 in non-PPR leagues, which is where he’s currently going, unless his touch count is increased significantly.
Myself and others have harped on how rare it is for a RB to have such an efficient year like Kamara had in 2017, especially when it came to his TDs. I wrote an article on why we should expect Kamara to regress in 2018 earlier this offseason, and you can check that article out on my website (link in bio, search for Kamara). He’s being taken in the middle of the first round in PPR leagues, and I’m obviously more okay with that if you think he’s the next Jamaal Charles, because his reception totals combined with his elusiveness and talent should continue in 2018.
What probably won’t continue is his TD totals. He scored 13 TDs on 201 touches, which is simply unsustainable. The only back who had 8+ TDs who didn’t touch the ball at least 268 times were him and Dion Lewis, where Lewis had 5 of those TDs coming in 2.5 games because of injury to two other RBs. 22.5% of his runs resulted in 10+ rushing yards, which is the highest percentage by any RB with at least 100 attempts since 2011. The list of who has done this in the past would not impress you (check out the article).
Do we really expect Kamara to be the goal line back in the Saints offense, with or without Mark Ingram? He had a total of 4 carries inside the 5 last season, while Ingram had 13. We can’t depend on TDs from outside goal line opportunity as a metric to decide future fantasy success. The top RBs last season were all their respective teams’ goal line backs. Gurley, Bell, Hunt, Gordon, Ingram, McCoy, Fournette, Elliott, Howard. Outside of Ingram, these guys were also workhorses when it came to touch count. After Adrian Peterson got traded last season, Kamara had 14 touches per game in the regular season, and 13 touches per game in the playoffs. How much do we expect it to go up by? Here are the top touch numbers from 2017:
Lev Bell: 27.1
<DJ would’ve probably fell around here>
Are you okay with drafting Kamara early in the first round in non-PPR, even if his bread and butter is in the passing game? I don’t expect Kamara to get elite touch numbers even while Ingram is out; I do expect another back to share the load and possibly even get goal line looks over Kamara.